ALEXANDER V6N HUMBOLDT. 57 tlxeir civilization. But he was already accustomed to find regions as large, perhaps, as France, being only an extended beautiful desert, and to see a world which belonged only to plants and animals, and whore a human voice has never sounded in joy or in sorrow. Thus Humboldt stood at the brink of a precipice 8000 feet deep, which the evening mist was gradually veiling, and could not tear himself away from this spot, till prudence urged him to return. When their scientific investigations were completed, he descended with his companions, and reached a ravine at 10 o'clock that evening, where a dangerous path awaited them., more dangerous because the guides had secretly gone away to find a sleeping place in the rocks, and Humboldt and Bonpland were therefore obliged to carry their instruments them- selves., oppressed as they were with thirst and fatigue. We have detailed this excursion to show the courageous perseverance of Humboldt's character, which does not swerve before dangers and difficulties, but is alone urged on by the love of science. It way, therefore, only the peculiarities of an inter- esting region, and the anxiety to become acquainted with its form and natural products, which made him unmindful of the xmusual distance, when, he left Caracas in order to explore the large plains (llanos) of the Ormoeco and Amazon streams, so rarely trodden by men. He did not select tBe shortest route thither, for he wished not to lose the impressions of the beau- tiful vales of Apogna; besides that his scientific zeal urged him to find the level of the more remarkable portions of the coast mountains by means of the baro- meter, and to navigate the Rio Apure, which flows through the immense plains to its junction with the Oriiiocco. The same motive led him to the mountains of Los Taquoa, to the warm springs of Mariara, to the fertile shores of the sea of Valencia, and through the large prairies of Calabo^o, in the ©astern, part of the province Varinas, to San Fernando de Apure on the similarly-named river, Bio Aptue.